Nancy Mortellaro just loves lisianthus flowers.
She told The Batavian two years ago, "I think they’re gorgeous. They look like roses. They’re gorgeous and they last a long, long, long time in a vase."
She has been buying seeds and planting lisianthus plants in a garden bed outside tof he Richmond Memorial Library for five years. Today, she was honored by the library's Board of Directors with a plaque naming the garden in her honor.
"Nancy Mortellaro's dedication to the Batavia community has been exemplary," Board President Gregg McAllister said. "All of us as residents of this community are beneficiaries of her vision and energy through her involvement in several organizations. She particularly has been a dear friend of the library, always interested in what is going on here, and being involved and supportive."
Library Director Bob Conrad brought about some laughs with his telling of a story about the garden's popularity.
"Not to pat my own back or toot my own horn," he began, "but our new library cards with this beautiful 1895 building photographed by a local photographer, is a great new logo, I basically deserve all the awards. And instead, I got one phone call. One angry phone call saying, 'Bob, I wanted a library card with the lisianthus garden on it.'
"I'll tell you in a community of 19,000, you can't make everyone happy. The lisianthus garden seems to. Thank you, Nancy."
Mortellaro thanked all of the volunteers who have helped her over the years, and said she was honored and happy that the community has expressed so much appreciation for the garden.
Bob Conrad unveils the garden plaque.
Nancy Mortellaro, sitting, center, with her family, in town this weekend for a family reunion.